Friday, August 07, 2009

A "Simple" Matter of Perception

Just read a really interesting post from Physorg titled Lefty or Righty? A new hold on how we think.

"After testing both righties and lefties in five experiments, Casasanto - now at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics - found that righties tend to judge objects on their right side as positive and objects on their left side as negative. Lefties do the opposite, pairing positive things with their left side and negative things with their right."

Extending this notion of perception obviously centers on the five senses, the environment and to language because all these variables, in addition to handedness, shape how we view existence. (I'm a lefty.) When reading Edward T. Hall's seminal book, The Hidden Dimension, I was struck by the profound differences in how Arabs perceive space versus the Japanese where the first wants personal space to be extensive while the second values closeness as an essential part of society.

The same difference of perception applies to language where the pictographic form of Kanji necessitated the Japanese to invent high resolution displays to visualize their alphabet while the modularity of western languages facilitated the creation of computer software in the Americas, Europe and Russia.

"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead;
his eyes are closed." - Einstein
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